Flooring & Carpet

How To Clean and Care For Oriental Rugs

An Oriental rug can add elegance to any rooms decor. They come in so many colors and designs, that it’s easy to find one that will compliment your existing room accessories. Oriental rugs can be used as the focal point of your room to add splashes of color, but they’re also very functional.

Most Oriental rugs are fairly expensive, so when they need cleaned, you need to take a little extra care. But, cleaning them isn’t hard as long as your careful. Keeping them clean can add years to their life and beauty when done properly.

Using a vacuum to clean Oriental rugs is the best way to keep them looking new longer. But, when you do vacuum it, you need to be gentle. Set the vacuums brush to a setting that is barely touching the surface of the rug. And, make sure that if your rug has fringed edges you keep the vacuum away from the fringes. If the fringes repeatedly get sucked up into the vacuum, it can cause them to fray.

Any type of rug on the floor is vulnerable to spills and stains and no matter how careful you are, accidents can happen. The best way to clean Oriental rugs is to use a little bit of club soda and just a small amount of a good quality carpet cleaning solution. Use a soft rag to just blot the stain or spill up, rubbing it will only press it deeper into the rugs fibers and you might not be able to get it out.

Another really good way to keep your Oriental rug looking newer longer is by rotating it on a regular basis. The wear on the rug will be more even and less noticeable if you turn the rug now and then. How often you should rotate the rug will depend on how much traffic the rug gets. If it’s in a high traffic area, you need to rotate it more often. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of rotating it each time you vacuum.

While rotating the rug can reduce the chances of showing signs of a walking path, it will also help prevent fading. Sunlight coming through any nearby windows shining directly on the rug will eventually fade the colors. By rotating the rug, you can help prevent light areas and keep the colors brighter and more vibrant.

Always try to avoid letting ORiental rugs get wet. While you may not have any choice but to use water or club soda to clean up a stain, there is a chance that the colors in the rug might bleed. Anytime your rug gets wet or you have to clean it, make sure that you soak up as much of the liquid as possible and place the rug where it can get air to dry quickly.

If you need to store the rug for an extended period of time, wrap it in a sheet or large piece of cloth. Never put it inside an airtight bag, it can cause the rug to rot and mildew. And, they should never be stored anywhere that is hot, humid or damp, or in a place that doesn’t have good ventilation.

If you have furniture sitting on the rug, it’s enevitable that you’re going to end up with flat spots in the rugs pile. Moving the furniture now and then can help prevent crushing of one spot. But, you can use a soft brush to gently brush the fibers and fluff them back up.

How To Prepare A Floor For Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic tiles are one of the most durable, long lasting flooring materials that you can use. But, even ceramic tiles are only as good as the floor they’re laid on. If you’re going to install ceramic floor tiles, you’ll need to make some preparations to your flooring first.

Never use ceramic tiles that are made for walls on your floor, they won’t hold up to the traffic. Ceramic tiles that are made specifically for floors are generally thicker than wall tiles and will have a texture that makes them safer. Wall tiles are glazed to be slick and shiny and not appropriate for floors.

Your sub-floor has to be sturdy and level and they shouldn’t be more than an inch thick. You should also remove any existing flooring has a cushioned layer underneath it. If you have a single layer of existing flooring that is not padded or cushioned, you can apply tiles directly on top of it.

Ceramic tiles are best applied to a solid, bare floor. But, if you’re going to apply them on top of another flooring, make sure that you remove any shine that the floor has. You can do this by using sand paper block to scuff the shine.

Any type of existng flooring will also need to be thoroughly cleaned. Debris, wax or grease will keep the ceramic tiles from adhering properly and they’ll pop up and come loose very quickly. Use a good detergent that will cut grease or a good quality wax remover to completely clean the floor.

Removing ceramic tiles can be quite a job, older tiles are usually set in a mortar bed and can be stuck really good. The best way to remove them is with a chisel and a hammer. Break them and then remove them in pieces.

If the tiles aren’t real old and have been laid with an adhesive, heat can help you remove them easier. You can even try using a regular household iron. Lay a piece of material over the tiles, turn the iron to the hottest setting and go over the tiles in a circular motion. The heat usually helps loosen the adhesive so you can remove the tiles.

If you notice any bouncing when you walk across the floor, you’ll need to secure the flooring with more nails or screws. If the under side of the floor is open, you can add bridges between joists for more support. You can also add wood shims to fill any gaps.

If you floors have damaged areas or uneven spots, cement fiber board can be used on top of the floor. Cement fiber board is recommended for use in areas that have a lot of moisture such as kitchens and baths. If you have a cement floor you should check it for cracks or holes and they should be repaired.

Uneven places in cement need to be sanded with a disc sander. For minor knots or bumps in the cement, you can try using a chisel to remove them. Make sure that anytime you sand anything you wear safety goggles to prevent anything from getting into your eyes.

Once your ceramic tiles have been laid, it’s going to be hard to fix any problems that the floor may have. It’s a good idea to lay the tiles down and check them for any areas that aren’t level before actually applying them with the adhesive.

Just remember that ceramic floor tiles aren’t flexible at all. If you’re floor isn’t properly prepared, the tiles won’t stand up and it will cause you more work to repair them. You’ll could also be out a lot of money trying to repair the floor.

How To Make Floor Squeaks Be Quiet!

Have you been hopping across your floor in the middle of the night trying to avoid squeaky areas? They’re always annoying, but at night when it’s quieter they seem so much louder and can wake a sleeping family if they’re bad enough.

You don’t have to put up with squeaky floors, they can be easily repaired and you and your family won’t have to sneak around at night. The first place to start is finding the exact area of the squeak.

If you have a basement and the ceiling is open or have a crawl space under your home, you’ll need to watch from below while someone walks across the floor. Watch for any boards that give or sway causing the squeak. Once you’ve found the spot, use a level to determine if the floor board has bowed up or if the floor frame has began to sag.

If there is a gap between the sub flooring and the frame board, insert a wood shim into the area to provide the floor with support. Apply glue to the shim and gently tap it into place, don’t tap it too hard or it will cause squeaks in other areas of the flooring.

If the joist, or frame board is sagging, cut a piece of 2X4 longer than the sagging area and screw it into place. You can use a long piece of board to prop the spot up before securing the piece of 2X4 to the joist. You should cut the board to reach at least ten inches past the sag on each side and use screws that are at least three inches long.

If the squeak is coming from a floor board that isn’t abut with a joist, you can add a piece of board cross wise of the two joists. Measure the space, cut the board and secure it with screws on the outside of the joists. You can add as many pieces as you need to cover the entire spot of sub-flooring that is loose.

Sometimes years of walking on your flooring can cause the screws to loosen and your finished floor will rise just enough to create a squeak. To fix this from underneath the floor, you’ll need to find the spot and use screws to secure it back down to the sub-floor.

Use a drill to make pilot holes so it will be easier to insert the screws. The screws need to be at least 1 1/4″ long and adding a washer to the screw will keep the heads of the screw from pulling up through the flooring. The screws will pull the finished floor back down flush with the sub-flooring.

If you can’t get to the under side of your floor, you can still fix it from the top. If you’ve got a hard wood floor, you’ll want to be sure to drill pilot holes for the nails so you don’t crack the flooring. Hammer the nails into the flooring at a diagonal direction and use a nail set to sink the heads of the nails into the flooring. The holes can be filled up with some wood filler and sanded.

Sometimes floor squeaks aren’t caused by the flooring at all, they’re caused by duct work or pipes that are touching the floor or joists. As the floor gives any at all, it rubs against the pipes and creates the squeak. Hangars can be used to secure both the duct work and pipes in place so that they won’t be touching your flooring.

How To Repair Small Holes, Burns and Flaws In Your Carpet

Replacing your carpet can be a major expense and a major job! It’s not as simple as throwing it out and getting a new one when something happens to damage your carpet.

No matter how careful you are, things can happen to your carpet. There’s very little you can do for some things, but most small holes and damaged areas can be repaired to extend the life of your carpet.

If you have homeowners insurance you may want to check your policy coverage. Many insurance companies will actually cover the damage on carpets and you might be lucky enough to get completely new carpet installed!

You can literally shave away light burn spots that are mostly on the surface of the carpet. Of course, this won’t work if the carpet is a flat weave. But, for shags and other thick type of carpet it works very well.

Just be very careful not to cut to much of the carpet away and make a bald spot, or to cut yourself. Use a razor blade and just lightly trim the melted threads off in thin layers.

Another way of repairing damaged carpet is with the “carpet transplant” method! It’s better if you have a scrap piece of the carpet, but you can get replacement fibers from hidden spot on your carpet, such as a corner.

With a sharp razor blade, trim all of the damaged fibers down to the carpet backing. Using a small tool apply a waterproof adhesive to the bare carpet backing. This will take patience, you don’t want to get the adhesive on the rest of the carpet!

One by one you can press the transplanted fibers onto the area with a toothpick or other small object. Make sure that you press the fiber into the adhesive and let the finished repair dry for at least 24 hours.

If the damage is beyond repair, you can often still repair it with a plug! Just like the name implies, you will cut out the bad section and then plug it with a new one!

The main problem with this type of repair is that over time your carpet wears and fades. Replacing a piece of it with a remnant piece or carpet from another part of the room is likely to leave a noticeable spot!

With a utility knife cut all the way through the backing to remove the damaged area. You should cut the hole as small as possible to help improve the chances of the repair being less prominent.

If possible when cutting the bad part out, cut it in a triangle shape instead of a rectangle or square. You can use the piece that you cut out for the pattern in cutting the “plug” piece to get a more accurate fit. However, for the best look, you’ll want to cut the plug just slightly larger.

Many people don’t realize that carpet has a grain. You can check the grain of your carpet by rubbing it with your hand. Watch to see which direction you have to rub it to fluff it and which direction you rub to smooth it out. Try to cut the plug piece with the same grain direction as your carpet.

Carpet tape can be used for this type of repair if it’s a fairly big spot. But, using carpet tape will probably be something that you later regret!

If it’s a small area, it will be a little hard to get the carpet tape in the right position. But, the main problem will be when you clean your carpet!

Carpet tape isn’t water resistant! So, when you need to clean your carpet with a carpet cleaning machine or steam cleaner, the patched area will come loose!

The best way to make sure that the plugged piece of carpet stays in place is to use a waterproof adhesive. If you want to keep the patch from sticking to the floor, cut a piece of thick material such as burlap and place it under the hole using a screwdriver or blunt end knife.

The repair will look better if the fibers are a little crowded, this is why the repair plug should be just a little larger than the actual hole.

Before you apply any adhesive, lay the patch inside the hole to check for fit and look! If the patch is too big you can easily just trim some of it off as long as it’s not glued down!

Never apply adhesive to the plug patch, you will want to apply it to the fabric patch that you placed between the carpet and the floor. It’s also better if you glue the fabric patch to the carpet backing.

You can gently lift the carpet at the hole and use any type of flat object to spread some adhesive around the hole on the backing and then press it onto the fabric piece.

Once the fabric piece is glued to the carpet backing and you’ve made sure that the plug fits correctly you’re ready to glue it into place! Apply the adhesive to the fabric patch and edges of the existing carpet and press the plug patch into place.

It’s very important that the spot isn’t disturbed for at least 24 hours to allow it to dry properly. You can place a chair or some other piece of furniture over it to protect it. You should also allow another 24 hours before trying to clean the spot.

The best advice to follow when trying to perform any repair that requires removal of some of the carpet is to remove as little as possible. And, take your time to make sure that you don’t get any of the adhesive on the surrounding carpet.

Cleaning and Caring for Your Carpet the Green Way

Everyone loves the feel of clean carpet. But clean carpet requires regular cleaning and not all cleaning methods are green friendly. In fact, some of the chemicals used by professional carpet cleaners are very toxic and non-green. You want to minimize any chemical detergents, solvents, or cleansers as much as possible so that you can clean your carpet the green way. Let’s look at a few ways to do that:

Remember that what you are removing from your carpet can be hazardous. You might be using a home deep cleaning machine that uses hot tap water but it makes no difference if what you are removing out of your carpet is not green friendly. So this means that you should not dump the waste water from the cleaning process into the ground or down a storm drain. If you want to maintain a green carpet cleaning focus, give your public water treatment works utility a call and inquire where you can bring this waste water. It might mean taking the time to pour the waste water into plastic jugs but you will be doing the right thing for the environment.

Keep your carpet clean to begin with. That way there is less of a need to do a big job so often. People living in Asian countries really have a good idea by taking their shoes off before entering a house. It takes a little getting using to but in the long run you’ll be glad you did because you will rarely track anything in from outside.

Another way is to allow no eating or drinking in living areas except for special occasions. Other family members may not like this rule but it will significantly cut down the accidental spills. Plus, it is great for controlling pests like cockroaches. You will also need to get yourself a good vacuum cleaner and change the bag before it gets stuffed and begins blowing dust.

You might also consider using several inexpensive washable throw rugs to keep areas soil and stain free. You can use more throw rugs in heavy traffic areas. These will serve to protect the carpet. If you want to display your full carpet on special occasions, it is a matter of picking up the throw rugs.

Tap the power of vinegar and water. Distilled white vinegar is a versatile green stain removal and color restoration agent. Plus it is inexpensive. All you have to do is mix two tablespoons of distilled white vinegar and a quarter cup of baking soda into a paste and rub it into the carpet. When it dries, you just vacuum it up. Or, instead of a paste, you can take two thirds cup of water and one third cup of distilled white vinegar and blot the area with a sponge soaked with clean water. You can also mix one cup of vinegar with a gallon of water and use it in a home deep cleaning machine to bring out the color in your carpet. Make sure that you always test your solutions in an inconspicuous area before full use. And, never rub a stain—always blot.

How to Remove Rust From Your Carpet

Having a rust stain on your carpet is not the end of the world because you may be able to get rid of it, and you can even do it yourself. This is especially the case if the stain is new. You can take care of the stain with some products that you probably already have in your kitchen. If you see a rust stain you do not have to tear up your carpet and buy a new one. It can be much less expensive to try to remove the stain. (more…)

How to Remove Mold From a Wood Floor

Wood floors in your home can be a great addition as they are very attractive and classy. Wood floors are also very practical as well. Wood floors can stand up to all types of weather and last for a long time but they must be taken care of. If you get any water or liquid on your floor that sits for some time mold can develop. But you can fix wood floors if this does occur. (more…)

How to Lay Carpet on a Concrete Floor

If you are finished building a basement or a room inside your garage you can warm up the floor and make it look better by laying carpet on it. Basements and other areas that have concrete can attract moisture so a basement or overly wet area may not be good or carpet. But a concrete floor basement or concrete floor room can benefit from having a carpeted floor. (more…)

Protecting your Vinyl Floor

Vinyl floors can be a long lasting and beautiful addition to a home. Vinyl can last a long time even with everyday foot traffic. But vinyl flooring is vulnerable to aging and accidents and can be damaged if not cared for in a proper way. (more…)

How to Remove Mildew from Carpets and Rugs

Many things can cause mildew to appear on your carpet. From flooding to wet basements, living with a rug or carpet that has mildew is unattractive and unhealthy. It is important to try to catch the mildew when it first forms as it will be easier to remove. If your carpet is showing some signs of mold here are some steps you can take in order to get rid of it. (more…)

What to Look for When Choosing a Carpet

With all the everyday foot traffic that your carpet has seen maybe it is time to buy new carpet for your home. Or maybe you will be building a home and the flooring is a big issue. You have to know how to pick the right carpet you need and what the most important aspects are when choosing a carpet. (more…)

How to Remove Old Carpet

Removing a carpet seems like a very difficult job in the beginning but with a little work and these helpful tips you can accomplish it easily. (more…)

How to Sand Your Wood Floor

A nice aspect of wood floors is the fact that they can be sanded and refinished and look brand new. Professionals can do this but it is very easy to do it yourself. Sanding a wood floor takes come patience and it is better to follow a few steps to make the floor look great. Here are a few steps too how to sand a floor yourself. (more…)

How to Repair Scratches for Hardwood Floors

Repairing scratches on hardwood floors is easy to do and it will make your hardwood floor look like new. Depending on the scratches on the hardwood floor, generally, you can use repair kits but if there are large or deep scratches you may have to sand the floor. (more…)

Carpet Cleaning

Carpets play a very important role in the overall look of our homes and dirty, stained carpets can give a bad impression of you and can also be a health risk to some people.  If you don’t take proper care of your carpets they will quickly appear much older than they actually are, reduce the value of your home, and drastically reduce the lifespan of your carpets.  (more…)

Installing Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors increase the beauty of a room and naturally bring out and strength the accents of a room.  This type of flooring is becoming more popular because it helps reduce natural allergens like dust mites that regular carpet flooring attracts. Putting down a hardwood floor is a time consuming task and you need to take your time to avoid improper laying of the wood which can result in gaps or even warping of the wood over time.  (more…)

Tips and Techniques to Laying Carpet

Installing carpet seems daunting to some people due to the amount of tools and effort that is involved but even including the cost of tool rentals, carpets require some specific tools most people don’t own, you will still be farther ahead financially if you do the installation yourself.  (more…)

How To Choose The Right Tools For Tile Floors

Are you wanting to replace the flooring in your home with tile floors?  Do you not want to hire someone else to do it?  If you are wanting to do this job yourself, then you are going to need a few tools to do it right. (more…)

How To Choose The Right Tools For Hardwood Floors

Nowadays many new homes have some type of hardwood flooring, either in the wide open living space and kitchen or throughout the home. They seem to be easier to take care of to some people. It really depends on that person and whether or not you actually like the look of hardwood, but most do. So, if you are wanting to put down hardwood flooring in your home, there are some tools you will need to install these floors. (more…)